Human-Powered Ornithopter

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

A University of Toronto grad student has flown his human-powered ornithopter:

Todd Reichert, a PhD candidate at the university’s Institute of Aerospace Studies, piloted the wing-flapping aircraft, sustaining both altitude and airspeed for 19.3 seconds and covering a distance of 145 metres at an average speed of 25.6 kilometres per hour.

The world-record flight took place Aug. 2 at the Great Lakes Gliding Club in Tottenham, Ont. It was witnessed by the vice-president (Canada) of the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale – the world body governing air sports and aeronautical world records. It was also Canada’s first successful human-powered aircraft flight.


  1. Mark says:

    Big whoop — it’s a flapping glider. Amazing?

  2. Isegoria says:

    The flapping isn’t cosmetic. It’s an airplane propelled not by propellers or jets, but by flapping, and powered not by burning petroleum-based fuel, but by a single human pedaling. Yes, that’s amazing.

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